Alana Horowitz

Mentor: Dr. Michael Katovich
College of Pharmacy
 
"By participating in research, I can explore the practical applications of what I learn through my coursework. In Dr. Katovich’s lab, I have developed a foundational understanding of the research process and also learned technical skills required to fulfill it. I hope to build on this previous experience through the University Scholars Program by completing an independent research project and presenting my work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. These opportunities will challenge me to develop a deeper understanding of the pathology I study and the experimental process I use to explore it."

Major

Biology

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Pharmacology & Molecular Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Biology & Neurobiology
  • Epigenetics

Academic Awards

  • Thomas J. Watson Memorial Scholarship, 2011-2015
  • University Scholars Program, 2014-2015
  • Dean's List

Organizations

  • Dance Marathon
  • Alpha Epsilon Phi

Hobbies and Interests

  • Reading
  • Traveling
  • Crafting

Research Description

Therapeutic Potential of Angiotensin Type II Receptor Activation in Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a devastating disease marked by scarring of the lung tissue, which progressively leads to respiratory insufficiency and death. Current pharmacological therapies to treat this disorder have been ineffective, providing only symptomatic relief. Hence, it is important to better understand the disease pathophysiology to identify novel and effective drug targets/therapies. My project focuses on evaluating the therapeutic potential of activating the endogenous Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor (AT2R) using a small molecule agonist, Compound 21, in an animal model of PF. The AT2R belongs to the recently discovered axis of the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS) that has been shown to have protective effects in the cardiopulmonary system. Results from this study will contribute to our understanding of the vaso-protective axis of the RAS, as well as elucidate the potential of the RAS as a target for therapeutic intervention in patients with PH.